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Michele R. Punturi

Shareholder
2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 575-2724
(215) 575-0856 - Fax
mrpunturi@mdwcg.com

Michele has been with the firm for nearly 30 years, and was named a shareholder of the Workers' Compensation Department in 1998. Michele represents third party administrators (TPAs), insurance carriers and self-insureds, handling matters for construction companies, steel product and technology companies, hospitals, retailers, supermarkets, hotels, personnel corporations, landscaping contractors, assisted living facilities, townships, churches, professional athletic teams and manufacturers.

During her career, Michele has successfully defeated numerous claim petitions by presenting medical and factual evidence showing that the claimants did not sustain work-related injuries and/or corresponding disabilities. Her innovative legal strategies have included requesting the judge's presence at the employer's premises. In addition, Michele has argued numerous cases in front of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board and has taken multiple cases to the Commonwealth Court.

Michele has lectured for various organizations, including the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, Philadelphia Bar Association, Pennsylvania Self-Insurers' Association and Insurance Society of Philadelphia. She has published many articles and educational/training materials and has authored a chapter on workers' compensation in the prestigious West Pennsylvania Forms and Commentary Employment Law treatise.

Michele is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the Widener University School of Law. Michele's success is due in large part to the care and dedication she exhibits to each client and the attention to detail shown in her work. It is these characteristics that have led many of her clients to look to her as a sounding board for business and legal advice.

Michele is active in the community, donating her time to a host of charitable organizations including Northern Children's Services, Children's Hospital, Toys for Tots and the American Cancer Society.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Nathan Armstrong v. W.C.A.B (Haines & Kibblehouse) – the court held that the filing of a Temporary Notice of Compensation Payable and Notice of Compensation Denial acknowledging an injury and no disability was sufficient acknowledgement of an injury for purposes of seeking a utilization review treatment.

  • Lane Enterprises, Inc. v. W.C.A.B. (Patton) – prepared an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • Workers' Compensation Settlement Evaluation Analysis and Mediations, guest lecturer, Villanova University Charles WidgerSchool of Law, April 11, 2018

  • The Rise in Workplace Violence: Practical Tips and Guidance to Avoid Devastating Consequences and Reduce Liability, CLM Annual Conference, March 15, 2018

  • Don't Get Burned: How to Keep a Medical Only Claim From Becoming an Indemnity Claim, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 19, 2017

  • Today's "Medical Only" Claim is Tomorrow's "Indemnity Claim," CLM & Business Insurance Workers' Compensation Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 24, 2017

  • Do's and Don'ts of Fact Witnesses, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 27, 2016

  • Developing a Robust Return to Work Program, CLM Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, May 2016

  • Put Me In Coach: Top 10 Opportunities in Claims and Litigation Management, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 22, 2015

  • The Dream Team Approach to Workers' Compensation Case and Litigation Management, 2015 CLM Annual Conference, Palm Desert, California, March 25, 2015

  • Checks and Balances: A Dream Team Approach, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, October 30, 2014

  • A New Era of Workers' Compensation Claims? The Potential Impact of Social Trends, claims workshop presented by The Graham Company, Philadelphia, PA, April 18, 2013

  • You Can't Handle the Truth: A Mock Trial, Marshall Dennehey Workers' Compensation Seminar, Philadelphia, PA, November 30, 2012  

  • Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Forms and Defenses, MAC Risk Management, June 15, 2012

  • Defense Consideration and Limiting Exposure in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation, Connor Strong & Buckelew, February 2, 2012

  • Judicial Panel, Annual Florida Workers' Compensation Institute Conference, August 2011

  • The New Uniform-Based Task Management System (UBTMS) Workers' Compensation Code Set, Annual Florida Workers' Compensation Institute Conference, August 2010

  • Understanding the WC Claims Process, Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry Workers' Compensation Roundtable, June 3, 2010

  • The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 11-12, 2010

  • The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 27-28, 2008

  • Defense Considerations in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation, The Graham Company Employer's Training Course, November 29, 2007

  • Successfully Navigating Workers' Compensation Law - Hot Topics in Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation - Case Law and Legislative Update, Insurance Society of Philadelphia, October 12, 2006

  • The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, March 23-24, 2006

  • Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, The Addis Group's 2006 Risk Management Forum, March 23, 2006

  • Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, Churchill Dallas Risk Control Workshop, March 16-17, 2006

  • Workers' Compensation Mock Trial, Raffles Risk Control Workshop, Captive Resource, April 2005

  • Tough Problems in Workers' Compensation 2003, Pennsylvania Bar Institute, March 27, 2003

  • Workers' Compensation 2003 Fall Section Meeting, Pennsylvania Bar Association, September 2003

  • The Litigation Process, Pennsylvania Self-Insured - A to Z Training Course, April 11-12, 2002

  • The Impact, Aftermath and Reality of Act 57, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Self-Insured, June 25, 1998

  • Impairment Ratings from the Doctor's and the Attorney's Perspectives, Philadelphia Bar Association/Workers' Compensation Section, June 17, 1998

  • Legal Update, Annual Conference, Pennsylvania Self-Insurers Association, June 27, 1997

  • Impairment Rating Under Act 57, REM, August 23, 1996

Published Works

  • For My Next Trick: The Magic of Keeping Medical Only Claims From Turning Into Indemnity Claims," CLM Magazine, March 2018

  • "Eliminating Risk With Robust Return to Work Programs," PRIMA Press, June 2017

  • "Getting Healthy With Return-to-Work Programs," Risk Management, November 2016

  • "Controlling Exposures in Workers' Compensation Litigation: Ten Areas of Consideration for Employers," Catalyst magazine, page 28, Fall 2016

  • "The Dream Team Approach to Workers' Compensation Case Management," Workers' Compensation magazine, August/September 2015

  • "Beware: If We Snooze We May Lose. A Closer Look at LIBC-756 as Interpreted in Muir v. WCAB (Visteon Systems, LLC)," Workers' Compensation (PSIA Newsletter), October 2012

  • "Medical Suspension Has Life," PSIA Newsletter, May 2011

  • "A Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation 4-Phase Checklist," PSIA Newsletter, September 2009

  • "IRE's At Issue Again," PSIA Newsletter, May 2009

  • "IRE's At Issue Again," Defense Digest, March 2009

  • "Notice of Ability To Return To Work - LIBC 757 - An Analysis of Allegis Group v. WCAB," PSIA Newsletter, July 2006; and Defense Digest, June 2006

  • "Recent Developments," Pennsylvania Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Section, 2003 Fall Section Meeting, September 2003

  • "Case Law Update-Tough Problems in Workers' Compensation 2003," Pennsylvania Bar Association, March 2003

  • "Employer Liability for Employee Violation of Company Policy," PSIA Newsletter, November 2000

  • "Recourse for Judge's Monetary Settlement Recommendation," PSIA Newsletter, January 2000

  • Contributor to the PSIA Newsletter, 1996-2012

Education

  • Widener University School of Law, Wilmington, DE (J.D., 1990)

    Honors: cum laude
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Property I, Property II
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Contracts I and II
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Criminal Procedure I Evidence
    Honors: American Jurisprudence Award, Business Organizations, Trial Advocacy
    Honors: Dean's List and Phi Delta Phi

  • University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (B.A., 1987)

    Honors: cum laude
    Major: Political Science and Communications

Defense Digest Article December 1, 2012
  Key Points: Get your credits against workers' compensation. Be sure to use Bureau Form LIBC 756 early and often.   The Pennsylvania Workers’..., Defense Digest, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2012
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2011
Pennsylvania - Workers' Compensation , KEY POINTS: Beware, claimants, your medical benefits may be suspended! The Commonwealth Court has opened the door to employers and their insurance carriers to suspend medical benefits in certain..., Defense Digest, Vol. 17, No. 2, June 2011
Articles May 1, 2009
Pennsylvania Self-Insurer's Association Workers' Compensation Newsletter, May 2009
May 11, 2018
We successfully defended a national car company in a case involving the defense of a termination petition, the claimant’s petition for review of the utilization review determination, the claimant’s petition to review compensation benefit...
Aug 30, 2017
Successfully litigated a termination petition on behalf of a retailer. ​The claimant sustained a work-related hand injury, for which he underwent surgery. The defense presented substantial evidence via the defense medical expert, who had the...
Dec 6, 2016
We secured a favorable decision from the Supersedeas Fund awarding $1,771,961.74 for medical payments. ​The case involved a 2005 injury with a self-insured employer who had excess coverage provided by a carrier, which was a reimbursement policy. In...
Aug 25, 2016
Obtained a favorable decision defeating a claimant’s claim petition. The teacher/claimant alleged that a student threw a “very large, heavy” screw at her, hitting her head just above her ear, resulting in pain, dizziness, and...
Conference Mar 25, 2015
Michele Punturi, a shareholder in the Workers' Compensation Practice Group, Jeffrey Rapattoni, a shareholder with the Fraud/Special Investigation Practice Group, and G. Mark Thompson, a member of the executive committee and the firm's board...
Conference May 19, 2016
Michele Punturi and Frank Wickersham, shareholders and members of the firm's Workers' Compensation Department, are presenting at CLM Atlanta. This program offers sessions in four tracks: workers' compensation, insurance fraud, product...
Conference May 24, 2017
Michele Punturi, a shareholder in the Workers' Compensation Department, is speaking at the 2017 CLM & Business Insurance Workers' Compensation Conference. This conference offers unprecedented knowledge access to leaders in the workers...
Mar 14, 2018
Michele Punturi, a shareholder in the Workers' Compensation Department, is speaking at the 2018 CLM Annual Conference in Houston, Texas. Along with a panel of industry professionals, Michele is presenting "The Rise in Workplace Violence:...

Areas of Practice

Education

  • Widener University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1990)
  • University of Pittsburgh (B.A., cum laude, 1987)

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1990
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1991

Associations & Memberships

  • Defense Research Institute
  • Judge Alexander F. Barbieri Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Defense Institute
  • Pennsylvania Self-Insurers' Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • RIMS, The Risk Management Society

Honors & Awards

Year Joined Organization: 1988


Fraternities/Sororities

  • Phi Delta Phi

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